John Early is in talks to star opposite Michael Cera in the A24 movie Jonty!, which Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric fame is directing, Collider has exclusively learned.
Written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, the Peep Show co-creators who also wrote Four Lions together, the story follows a naive and vacuous man named Jonty (Cera) who discovers that his high-powered job and adoring friends are actually a ruse paid for by his billionaire father, prompting Jonty to head to New York to make his own fortune.
That’s when Jonty runs into his old high school buddy Phil (Early), who thinks of himself as a fancy, important playwright, though in reality, he’s just an usher at an off-Broadway theater. Following their chance encounter, Phil convinces Jonty to finance his brilliant/terrible play, and from there, it all becomes a disaster.
Jonty! has been in the works for a couple of years, and Early has been circling the project for nearly a year, but it never got close enough to the starting line for me to actually bother reporting it. However, in a recent interview with Deadline, Cera said he’s “supposed to do a movie hopefully this winter, or next year, which is a very funny comedy with John Early,” and sources say that movie is, in fact, Jonty!
Erin David is producing Jonty! with Bain and Armstrong, and she has had her finger on the pulse of comedy for more than a decade, having racked up credits on MacGruber, Hot Rod, Baby Mama and the charming Netflix movie Vampires vs. the Bronx via her longtime association with Lorne Michaels‘ Broadway Video.
Best known for his work on the TBS series Search Party, Early appeared in A24’s The Disaster Artist and recently played Mindy Kaling‘s scene-stealing co-worker in Amazon’s Late Night. He can currently be seen in the charming indie comedy Save Yourselves!, so Jonty! is poised to be his second movie with an exclamation point in its title should his deal close. How very John Early, indeed! Early is represented by UTA and Rise Management, and you can click here to watch the trailer for Season 3 of Search Party.